about "Nobody handed me nothing”

chance22

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We are taught to say "Nobody handed me anything." as standard English, But sometimes I see the sentence is expressed in the following way--"Nobody handed me nothing."
My questions are: Is the latter sentence commonly used in everyday English, or is it a dialect? In conversation, is it preferable to the standard version?
 

Rover_KE

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It's a double negative — commonly heard in casual speech, but definitely inferior to the standard version.

You should not use it yourself—you've been taught correctly.
 
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Yankee

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Answers to your questions: No. and No.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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. . . Is the latter sentence commonly used in everyday English

Yes.

. . . or is it a dialect?

No.

In conversation, is it preferable to the standard version?

No.
It's fine for other people to do it. It's not fine for you to do it. You'll sound like you're making fun of people who do it.
 

Tarheel

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Nobody handed me nothing.

Some people speak that way. But I don't think anybody who teaches English would say it's preferable to standard English.
 
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GoesStation

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We are taught to say "Nobody handed me anything." as standard English, But sometimes I see the sentence is expressed in the following way--"Nobody handed me nothing."
My questions are: Is the latter sentence commonly used in everyday English, or is it a dialect? In conversation, is it preferable to the standard version?
It's the usual way to express the idea in some dialects of American English. It sounds careless or uneducated to many people who don't use it themselves. As a learner, you should never say it but you should know how to understand it.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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It's the usual way to express the idea in some dialects of American English. . . .
Hey! You made me wonder about dialects. I can't think of anywhere I've lived where people didn't use double negatives. So I looked up dialects, and apparently they're not just regional (which is how I've always thought of them), but can also belong to particular social groups.

So I'm happy to change my vote on this one.

Thanks!
 

jutfrank

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Whether this counts as dialectic is controversial, I'd say. It depends largely on what is meant by 'dialect'. It is certainly not geographical, so it's probably not very useful to describe it as dialectic. You could call it 'sociolectic' but I think there are even problems with that.
 
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